By Andrew Irumba
Kabale:An official of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has been arrested for allegedly extorting money from Ugandans to who to register for National IDs and those who lost them.
The suspect has been identified as Simon Twasiima aka Kaboy, a Technology Officer in-charge of Butanda Sub-county, in Kabale district. Sources reveal that Twasiima was arrested on Thursday afternoon while on duty at Butanda sub county headquarters. He was taken to Butanda police post on orders of Gad Rugaaju Ahimbisibwe, the Kabale Deputy Resident District Commissioner. His arrest followed complaints from over 300 people who alleged that he had been asking them for money before issuing their national identity cards and registering fresh applicants or rectifying errors in their biodata.
It is alleged that Twasiima charged his victims between Shs7,500 and 100,000, depending on one’s problem. Residents also accused him of demanding payment before issuing them birth certificates. One of thisvictims identified as Loy Apuuli, a resident of Kyinyami village in Kahungye parish in Butanda Sub-county, said that “I registered for the national identity card in 2014 but it did not come out.” She added that “When the new registration exercise started I rushed to re-register. However, I was shocked when Twasiima demanded that I had to pay Shs52,000 first so as to be re-registered.” Another victim
Lordah Kiconco, a resident of Nyamiryango village in Nyamiryango parish in Butanda sub county, said Twasiima charged her Shs8,000 for registration.
TThere are several other complainants who gathered at Butanda sub-county headquarters to express their grievances but were calmed down by RDC Ahimbisibwe, who then ordered David Byaruhanga, the officer-in-charge of Butanda Police Post to immediately arrest Twasiima and detain him. The NIRA greater Kabale District Information Technology Officer, Norman Nsenga, says the officer will be tasked to pay hisvictims once investigations are complete and he is found culpable. However, although Twasiima admitted receiving money from the residents, he told police that he agreed with them to use it to buy storage materials to keep their national identity cards and birth certificates intact.